by Connor Jones
Competitiveness is a ‘Jones’ staple as you readers know, and many times we have towed the line and occasionally gone past it.
This story: one of those times.
In third grade, nine-year-old Kellen has smoke spouting out his ears after a volleyball match loss. His teammate misses an easy bump and they lose. So instead of calling her a name, he grabbed a volleyball and fired it over the net, toward the ball-bin in anger. Our teacher was standing right near the bin and he drilled him right smack in the face, knocking his glasses off.
Kel didn’t have a regular nine-year-old throw either. Now our teacher is the one with the smoke coming out of his ears. He sees Kel and explodes, “What are you doing! Out in the hall!”
Kel scampered out of the small Montrose Elementary gymnasium into the hallway. I was watching from afar, stricken with grief for my poor brother about what will come next.
I don’t see him for the rest of the day, I’m worried sick, it’s been almost three hours. Uh oh, this is bad, was he sent home? Was it something like off of the movie Matilda with Miss Trunchbull’s glass-filled ‘Chokey’ chamber? I feared the worst.
After what seems like an eternity, the bell rings to end school. I sprint to the Principal’s office and finally see him, he’s ok, and then we walk to my grandparents house down the street.
During the walk, I ask him what happened and he said nothing, that he just sat there in detention after getting yelled at. Grandma doesn’t say anything unusual to us and we get our normal cheese and crackers snack, and even some bubble gum too.
We almost forget about the incident. Mom and dad pick us up a few hours later and nothing from either of them in the car during the two minute ride home. What the heck, Kel’s not going to be in any trouble?
Not so fast.
After we finish dinner 45 minutes later, my dad pushes his plate to the middle of the table and disappointedly looks at Kel, “So Kellen, how was your day?”
“Uh, not that good,” Kel barely squeaks out, about to cry.
“Right, got a call from the school today…”
Instant tears. Now I’m crying too because I’m so scared as to what’s going happen next.
I felt there was a small chance Kel would be sent away to boarding school.
“Your mom and I decided that your punishment will be that you aren’t playing in your hockey tournament this weekend,” Dad continues.
The sobs also continue, “And you have to call your coach and tell him why you aren’t playing.”
Who is the head coach? Grandpa Jones.
“But I want to play! Grandpa is going to kill me!” Kellen wails.
“Well you should have thought about that before being a little jerk,” Mom sternly adds.
I’m not sure she actually used the word “jerk.”
Thirty minutes later, Kellen is on the phone calling our grandpa’s house.
He answers with his deep, gravelly voice, “Hey Kel!”
Almost inaudibly, “Grandpa I can’t play this weekend because I got in trouble at school today. I’m sorry.”
He responds, “Okay, I understand, but I am very disappointed.”
Kel hangs up the phone and runs away to his room. He wasn’t even allowed to be around the team so he stayed home all weekend with my mom. Combined with missing the games and then the chores he did, I’m sure he learned his lesson.
Don’t be a jerk? Keep your cool? Yes, absolutely, but I see it as, we all make mistakes every single day, and there needs to be consequences in order to learn from them.
So be good, treat people well, and don’t throw balls at your teacher’s head.